A chard stalk is a silly thing to waste. It’s so pretty! And so delicious, and not terribly fibrous, which makes it especially adaptable for recipes. If you invested in a bunch of chard for a recipe that only requires the leaves, I’d first suggest seeing if there’s a way you can work in the stalks. Perhaps you can mince them and sprinkle them on your chard salad. Or, you could chop them and add them to a stir fry along with the leaves.
But if your original recipe really can only handle the leaves, or if you have a hankering for something fluffy and wonderful in which to dip your veggies and chips, then set those stalks aside and prepare to make the crowd-pleasing Chard Stalk Hummus. The result is light, creamy, and packed with all the healthy stuff in the original Swiss chard. Feel free to experiment and adjust based on what you have on hand!
I first learned about this recipe during a “cooking with scraps” workshop during DC Food Recovery Week 2018. If you’ll be in DC during late October look out for the annual Food Recovery Week events here!
Chard stalk hummus
Chard stems. At least a bunch.
Tahini. At least a big spoonful. If you don’t have tahini, you could sub peanut butter and maybe some sesame oil - experiment!
Olive oil. A quick pour.
Lemon juice. A quick pour.
Garlic. One to 6 cloves.
Salt. To taste.
1. Fill a pot about 2/3 with water and turn on the heat.
2. Chop the chard stems into small pieces.
3. Once the water boils, drop the chard stems in and leave them for 20 minutes, or until they’re soft.
4. Chop the garlic.
5. (Optional) I don’t like my garlic to be too intense, so I often sauté it for a few minutes until it begins to soften and mellow. You could also roast it.
6. Check on the chard stems periodically, they should be softening.
7. Once they’re soft, remove them from heat. Unfortunately some of their lovely color will be lost to the cooking water. If you’re especially committed, let that water cool and then pour it into the bag you use for collecting scraps for stock.
8. Put the chard stems, garlic, tahini, olive oil, salt and lemon juice into a food processor. Blend until you get a smooth texture.
9. Add oil, tahini, lemon, olive oil and salt until you get to a flavor and texture balance you like.
10. Enjoy on veggies, crackers and sandwiches!
Here at EatOrToss we always encourage working with what you have and not getting too hung up on amounts of specific ingredients (which can lead you to buy more food you need to use up, and risks food going to waste). But if you're craving more precise quantities, we understand! Check out similar recipes from The New York Times, Food52 and Bon Appetit.